Life problems arise in the weirdest places at the most unexpected times. Things happen, all the time. Things that cause us to curse people out or make rash decisions. Shopping therapy, name bashing, crying, emotional twitter rants, Facebook statuses, disrespectful emails, and text messages; whatever. We are human and God knew what we were when He created us. The funny thing is, sometimes we forget that WE are human. We’ll curse someone out and then the next moment we’ll criticize or condemn the next person for lying or doing something that is out of the character of Christ. I believe that God calls us to correct each other in love. Colossians 4:6 says that our speech should always be with grace seasoned with salt. It’s important to examine our motive of speaking to people while realizing that although they may have stepped out of line, so do we; all the time. Acknowledging our own personal times of fleshly decision making will make it easier for us to correct others in love in hopes that they will correct us in love as well.
Truth is, we mess up. We do and say things that make us look like we don’t even know that God exists. In those moments, there are two things that can occur; condemnation and correction. There is definitely a difference and it’s important to know that. Condemnation is adverse judgment, and correction is intended to reform, improve or rehabilitate. I once heard someone say that condemnation and judgment will leave a person where they are, and correction will lead them to be better.
The truth is, none of us are perfect. Not even one. Not even one person on this Earth is perfect in their actions and decisions (Romans 3:10). We ALL do things that we shouldn’t do and let our ‘flesh’ rule our decisions and statements as opposed to following the spirit and what God would have us do. Everyone. Like…all of us. Ok, you get it right? Good. I’m realizing more and more how intentional we have to be when it comes to growing. God is amazing, He never fails, never gives up on us, never runs away, never changes, never does anything wrong. He’s everything that we should aspire to be and He placed His spirit on the inside of us so that we have a chance to do that!
We have to take responsibility for our actions. What’s funny about certain situations is that there is a huge cycle that continues when we fail to take responsibility for our actions, man up and make things right. Someone may have hurt you, so you said things or did things that hurt them back, and then someone sees/hears you and they are hurt by what you said even if you weren’t targeting them, then they say and do things to hurt someone else, and the cycle continues with no one taking responsibility or addressing the original issue at hand. The person that hurt you could have prevented it all by taking responsibility but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stop the cycle.
So let’s say you were hurt by someone, and they were truly in the wrong; it happens and it sucks but you can’t hold on forever. For the sake of yourself and others, forgive them, ask God to forgive you for anything you did that didn’t reflect Christ, and then forgive yourself and move on.
Should we acknowledge our feelings in these situations? Yes. Should we talk about them? Yes. But we have to be careful of the decisions that we make in relation to those feelings. We also have to be bold and mature enough to solve those issues in the most practical and beneficial way. If we have an issue with a person, we should be bold enough to go and talk to them about it. I say bold because it’s not easy to do, but it’s necessary for growth. If we need clarity or apology, we should be able to ask for it. No man is perfect, I state yet again. Man will always disappoint, but God will not and we have to be willing to listen to what He says about how we should react to those disappointments. He knows everything.
That hierarchy of sin that many subconsciously live by was created by us, and not by God. Anything created by us is has no solid foundation. So whether a person slapped you in public or told a lie in private, you repent to the same God through prayer. Jesus still died on the cross for both sins. We aren’t perfect, and we have to remember that even in our times of frustration. That doesn’t mean don’t correct your brother or sister when you see them doing wrong, it means 1. Do it in love so that it’s correction, not condemnation and 2. Be willing to humble yourself when it’s your turn to be corrected. God says that people will know that we are His by how we love each other and we have to be continuously intentional in loving each other.
Sin is not cute, it’s not anything to laugh about and we have to be conscious that there are people watching us that may not understand the context of our decisions or the things that happen. We’re held accountable for those people even if we don’t know that they are watching. It’s not about us or even the organizations we work for or serve with; it’s about God and the people that He has put in our lives to look up to us or follow us. It’s about them. It’s about the souls of people that are desperately trying to come to Christ but they continuously see condemnation and hate which turns them away.
Correction [not condemnation] with grace seasoned with salt. If we’re going to call ourselves Christians, let’s reread the qualifications and check our performance level. Let’s be honest, there are people in the church that hurt others as well; no matter your stature, position, or age. From church leaders to Pastors, to good Samaritans, we ALL have the responsibility to love, live and lead like Christ. It’s not just a church slogan, that really is what we [Christians] have been called to do. So let’s ALL jump out of our flesh, and into the spirit that God has given us. Forgive, take responsibility, ask for forgiveness, let go.
Romans 3:10 There is none righteous, not even one. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 5:12 Through one man, sin entered the world, and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all sinned. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His love for us, for while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.